Our Favorite Great American Road Trips

Summertime, summertime, sum, sum, summertime. 

We all recall those glorious days of yesteryear with the station wagon packed to the gills, miles of billboard bingo, and endless Are we there yet?s.

Whether we were the kids, or when we had the kids, those memories are an indelible part of our American summers.

Guess what? Those intrepid explorations don’t have to end just because the offspring have moved out… CONTINUE READING >>

Summertime, summertime, sum, sum, summertime. 

We all recall those glorious days of yesteryear with the station wagon packed to the gills, miles of billboard bingo, and endless Are we there yet?s.

Whether we were the kids, or when we had the kids, those memories are an indelible part of our American summers.

Guess what? Those intrepid explorations don’t have to end just because the offspring have moved out… CONTINUE READING >>

How Did a Buffalo Grow Wings?: The Origins of Some of America’s Favorite Foods


Many places across America have a certain food item that is emblematic to their city or region, and luckily we have found ourselves at the source of several.

Share a meal or two (okay many, many meals!) with us and learn about the origins of some of the USA’s most icon foods… CONTINUE READING >>


Many places across America have a certain food item that is emblematic to their city or region, and luckily we have found ourselves at the source of several.

Share a meal or two (okay many, many meals!) with us and learn about the origins of some of the USA’s most icon foods… CONTINUE READING >>

Underbrinks Bakery: A Visit with the “Nut Roll Nazi” of Quincy

Underbrink’s Bakery is a trip back to a simpler time when baked goods were made with care, by hand, from scratch and with really cool vintage equipment.

Owner and baker extraordinaire, LeRoy Rossmiller the self-proclaimed Nut Roll Nazi, maintains old fashioned ways. He showed us all of the inner workings while delivering a running commentary popping fresh with humor and sarcasm.

Since opening as a traditional German bakery in 1929, this little shop near… CONTINUE READING >> 

Underbrink’s Bakery is a trip back to a simpler time when baked goods were made with care, by hand, from scratch and with really cool vintage equipment.

Owner and baker extraordinaire, LeRoy Rossmiller the self-proclaimed Nut Roll Nazi, maintains old fashioned ways. He showed us all of the inner workings while delivering a running commentary popping fresh with humor and sarcasm.

Since opening as a traditional German bakery in 1929, this little shop near… CONTINUE READING >> 

Pumped for Pumpkin Fest

It’s small town America at her best – The Sycamore Pumpkin Fest! This little town’s population doubles each year – and rightly so – as they roll out the Halloween red carpet.

Join us as we attend the pumpkin weigh-in, get scared snotless while playing Zombie Miniature Golf, take in a great parade, and listen to spooky stories in a cemetery! And get awesome ideas for YOUR jack-o’-lantern at the humongous display on the courthouse lawn.

Oh – and watch what happens when Veronica enters the pie eating contest… CONTINUE READING >>

It’s small town America at her best – The Sycamore Pumpkin Fest! This little town’s population doubles each year – and rightly so – as they roll out the Halloween red carpet.

Join us as we attend the pumpkin weigh-in, get scared snotless while playing Zombie Miniature Golf, take in a great parade, and listen to spooky stories in a cemetery! And get awesome ideas for YOUR jack-o’-lantern at the humongous display on the courthouse lawn.

Oh – and watch what happens when Veronica enters the pie eating contest… CONTINUE READING >>

Fear Conquering & a Biker Bar Called Poopy’s

Not a frequenter of biker joints, I don’t have a motorcycle license and renting scooters probably doesn’t count… who am I kidding, I’d never actually been to a biker bar.

So I didn’t know what to expect and, certainly not out of a place with a name like Poopy’s, other than a sense of humor. And… CONTINUE READING >> 

Not a frequenter of biker joints, I don’t have a motorcycle license and renting scooters probably doesn’t count… who am I kidding, I’d never actually been to a biker bar.

So I didn’t know what to expect and, certainly not out of a place with a name like Poopy’s, other than a sense of humor. And… CONTINUE READING >> 

Road Trip! Toolin’ Down Illinois’ Great River Road

The Mighty Mississippi in all of its glory – the history, the lore, the beauty and the quirkiness.

Join us as we head down the Great River Road with stops in beautiful, historic Galena, Wine Country (yup, there’s wine in Illinois!), Moline, where David traces his roots (he’s John Deere’s g-g-g grandson!),  amazing Nauvoo, and Quincy, where we meet the self-proclaimed “Nutroll Nazi.” And that’s just the… CONTINUE READING >>

The Mighty Mississippi in all of its glory – the history, the lore, the beauty and the quirkiness.

Join us as we head down the Great River Road with stops in beautiful, historic Galena, Wine Country (yup, there’s wine in Illinois!), Moline, where David traces his roots (he’s John Deere’s g-g-g grandson!),  amazing Nauvoo, and Quincy, where we meet the self-proclaimed “Nutroll Nazi.” And that’s just the… CONTINUE READING >>

How Can a Buffet Be This Good? Brunch at Hotel Nauvoo

We wandered the five meticulously decorated dining rooms before settling under an indoor apple tree, surrounded some of the best smelling food in the world… CONTINUE READING >> 

We wandered the five meticulously decorated dining rooms before settling under an indoor apple tree, surrounded some of the best smelling food in the world… CONTINUE READING >> 

The Butterworth Center and Deere-Wiman House in Moline, Illinois

This was the home of John Deere’s son Charles, who followed his father as head of the company.

Each room was more amazing than the next, but it was the library that made our jaws hit the floor… CONTINUE READING >> 

This was the home of John Deere’s son Charles, who followed his father as head of the company.

Each room was more amazing than the next, but it was the library that made our jaws hit the floor… CONTINUE READING >> 

Beautiful, Historic Galena, Illinois

Galena, Illinois was at one time the center of attention for not only the state, but The United States.

When General Ulysses S. Grant returned to town after winning The Civil War, the eyes of the nation were upon him… CONTINUE READING >> 

Galena, Illinois was at one time the center of attention for not only the state, but The United States.

When General Ulysses S. Grant returned to town after winning The Civil War, the eyes of the nation were upon him… CONTINUE READING >> 

The John Deere Pavilion – Moline, Illinois

Our visit to the John Deere Pavilion was special to us because it was my birthday, and John Deere is my great-great-great Grandfather.

I grew up knowing about this legacy, but without much knowledge of the machinery that bears my ancestor’s name. That was certain to change… CONTINUE READING >> 

Our visit to the John Deere Pavilion was special to us because it was my birthday, and John Deere is my great-great-great Grandfather.

I grew up knowing about this legacy, but without much knowledge of the machinery that bears my ancestor’s name. That was certain to change… CONTINUE READING >> 

Lagomarcino’s, a Moline Tradition Since 1908

Upon entering Lagomarcino’s we were engulfed by nostalgia and the enticing smell of handmade chocolate.

The custom made booths, Tiffany lamps, the terrazzo tile floor and metal ceiling combined to transport us to the Illinois of yore… CONTINUE READING >> 

Upon entering Lagomarcino’s we were engulfed by nostalgia and the enticing smell of handmade chocolate.

The custom made booths, Tiffany lamps, the terrazzo tile floor and metal ceiling combined to transport us to the Illinois of yore… CONTINUE READING >> 

A Tale of Two Flights

It was the best of planes, it was the worst of planes, that was our feeling after spending nearly thirty hours on two non-stop flights.

The first one, United flight 895, from Chicago to Hong Kong clocked in at sixteen hours. Back when… CONTINUE READING >> 

It was the best of planes, it was the worst of planes, that was our feeling after spending nearly thirty hours on two non-stop flights.

The first one, United flight 895, from Chicago to Hong Kong clocked in at sixteen hours. Back when… CONTINUE READING >> 

Quincy Illinois, 3665 Strong

In fact, every street is packed with jaw dropping examples of nineteenth century homes, especially the tree lined boulevard Park Place. We’re pretty sure Monopoly should be jealous… CONTINUE READING >> 

In fact, every street is packed with jaw dropping examples of nineteenth century homes, especially the tree lined boulevard Park Place. We’re pretty sure Monopoly should be jealous… CONTINUE READING >> 

Baxter’s Vineyards – Illinois’ Oldest Winery

Before our trek down The Mighty Mississippi we had no idea that The Land of Lincoln was also wine country, but there are vineyards and wineries all along the river. This area of Illinois was the first to grow grapes, starting way back in 1851, and those vines are still growing… CONTINUE READING >> 

Before our trek down The Mighty Mississippi we had no idea that The Land of Lincoln was also wine country, but there are vineyards and wineries all along the river. This area of Illinois was the first to grow grapes, starting way back in 1851, and those vines are still growing… CONTINUE READING >> 

A Winter Wonderland Aboard Amtrak’s Empire Builder

Join your GypsyNesters aboard Amtrak’s iconic Empire Builder as we head through a winter wonderland in luxury!

See Glacier National Park out the huge windows of the Sightseer Lounge, celebrate Veronica’s visit to her 48th state over crab cakes (for breakfast!) in the dining car, share a fun-filled wine and cheese tasting, and enjoy tours of our sleeper car and all the fabulous amenities that you never knew Amtrak provided! … CONTINUE READING >> 

Join your GypsyNesters aboard Amtrak’s iconic Empire Builder as we head through a winter wonderland in luxury!

See Glacier National Park out the huge windows of the Sightseer Lounge, celebrate Veronica’s visit to her 48th state over crab cakes (for breakfast!) in the dining car, share a fun-filled wine and cheese tasting, and enjoy tours of our sleeper car and all the fabulous amenities that you never knew Amtrak provided! … CONTINUE READING >> 

12 Must-See Festivals in the US

We LOVE a festival! Tag the word “fest” on the end of anything and we’re there!

Here are 12 of the wildest, wackiest, over-the-top or just plain fabulous celebrations that we’ve seen! CONTINUE READING >> 

We LOVE a festival! Tag the word “fest” on the end of anything and we’re there!

Here are 12 of the wildest, wackiest, over-the-top or just plain fabulous celebrations that we’ve seen! CONTINUE READING >> 

Swept off Our Feet at the Broom Corn Festival

Driving through the middle of America in early autumn meant we were bound to stumble upon some sort of fair or festival.

But we never expected to find one dedicated to something that we had never heard of… CONTINUE READING >> 


Driving through the middle of America in early autumn meant we were bound to stumble upon some sort of fair or festival.

But we never expected to find one dedicated to something that we had never heard of… CONTINUE READING >> 


Video – Chicago’s Cloud Gate aka “The Bean”


enlarge video
Cloud Gate. This amazing piece of art is known as “The Bean” for its kidney like shape. But this is no ordinary legume. Over forty feet high and… CONTINUE READING >>


enlarge video
Cloud Gate. This amazing piece of art is known as “The Bean” for its kidney like shape. But this is no ordinary legume. Over forty feet high and… CONTINUE READING >>

Windy City Whirlwind Tour

Join us on our whirlwind tour of Chicago, home of America’s Tallest Skyline. View the Windy City’s grandest buildings, catch a reflection in Cloud Gate and see the beautiful (and huge!) Buckingham Fountain at Grant Park lit up in red at night! Did you know that Chicago has a building so large it has its own zip code?… CONTINUE READING >>
Join us on our whirlwind tour of Chicago, home of America’s Tallest Skyline. View the Windy City’s grandest buildings, catch a reflection in Cloud Gate and see the beautiful (and huge!) Buckingham Fountain at Grant Park lit up in red at night! Did you know that Chicago has a building so large it has its own zip code?… CONTINUE READING >>